DETROIT -- Honda Motor Co. is working hard to bring a four-cylinder diesel engine to the United States.
"The U.S. is our most important market and our top priority for diesels," says Motoatsu Shiraishi, president of R&D for Honda Motor Co.
Bringing a diesel to this country is more important than expanding the number of diesel engines that Honda sells in Europe, where more than 50 percent of the vehicles are diesel powered, he says.
Honda sells two diesel engines in Europe, a 2.2-liter I4 and a 1.7-liter I4. The company aims to be selling diesels here by the end of the decade, he says.
Shiraishi says Honda will first bring a four-cylinder engine to the United States.
"Right now we are just looking at the four, but if we can that one to function cleanly, then we could look at bigger ones," he says.
The company has not determined if diesels will first be equipped on cars or trucks here.
Japan has similar emissions standards as the United States for diesels, and eventually the U.S.-made diesel engine could also be used in Japan, he said.
The U.S. diesel engines will be built in Japan, but the company may later build the engines here.
He said, "Our base plan has always been to build where our cars are sold."